Who is considered a carer?
A carer is anyone who provides unpaid help and support to a family member, friend or neighbour who due to illness, disability, mental health impairment, frailty or an addiction cannot cope without their support.
Where to get support at UH?
Students with caring responsibilities have full access to the same support services as any other student. If you have found yourself with new or increased caring responsibilities, it is important that you let us know your situation so that we can support you as best as possible.
- Get in touch with your Personal Tutor or supervisor for support and to explain your circumstances. You can also speak with your Programme Leads, Module Leads, or Student Experience/Engagement/Success teams, whoever you feel most comfortable with. They can offer a friendly conversation and can point you in the right direction to support services or relevant policies. Tutors may be able to arrange a time for you to discuss work you have missed. Your teaching staff may be able to arrange for missed lecture notes to be forwarded to you.
- Caring can be tough and Student Wellbeing can support you with any emotional or mental health related issues which you may experience during this period and throughout your time at university. All services are confidential and delivered by trained and experienced staff. Although traditional face-to-face sessions have had to be suspended, there are plenty of virtual options available.
- All students can temporarily interrupt their studies if they need to and return when they’re able to continue. If you’d like to explore this option, please speak to staff in your department first, who will be able to discuss how this will affect your studies, and spend some time reading through the voluntary suspension of studies information online.
- As a reminder, all students can apply either for extensions (through your academic staff) or for Serious Adverse Circumstances (SACs) if they’re affected by any sudden and unexpected disruption. Depending on your circumstances, SACs might allow you to have your assessment period deferred to a later time. During the current coronavirus outbreak, students can self-certify when applying for SACs. Find out more about the differences between extensions and SACs.
- If you’re a student carer and find yourself in financial difficulty, we strongly encourage you to apply for financial support through the UH Financial Assistance Fund/Summer Fund. Full details of the eligibility criteria and application process can be found on Ask Herts, you can also contact the UH Student Financial Support team for more information via email@example.com.
- You can also contact Advice & Support in the Students’ Union where they offer free, confidential and impartial advice and support on a wide range of issues, from academic procedures to issues with housing and offering wellbeing support. Although they are unable to offer face-to-face consultations/appointments/drop-in's, they are still offering a full advice service via via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org), phone (01707 285022) and Zoom (by pre-arranged appointment) between 10:00-16:00, Monday to Friday.
- Additionally, you can contact the Equality Office for further advice, support and resources for carers.
External support services
- If you are concerned about what coronavirus might mean for you, or someone you care for, we recommend you visit the Carers in Herts website. Carers in Herts is a local charity who have put together very useful information on coronavirus. They also run numerous online events for carers, and you can also contact them directly for support or advice.
- Mobilise is an organisation providing a daily e-support package through the COVID-19 crisis. It includes links to key information, updates on how other carers are finding ways of coping, and suggestions for entertainment at home. The service is completely free, and carers and those providing care services can sign up here.
- The NUS also has a guide about benefits for student carers.
Virtual ‘Cuppa’ for carers
Looking after somebody who might be vulnerable to coronavirus is really challenging, so Mobilise has set up regular online 'Cuppa for Carers’ events. These are a group of carers who come together for supportive chats to share practical tips and tricks, and sometimes just to vent.